Photoluminescence as a Function of Aggregated Size from n-Butyl-Terminated Silicon Nanoclusters

Chung Sung Yang, Susan M. Kauzlarich, Y. C. Wang, Howard W H Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Photoluminescence (PL) from alkyl-terminated silicon nanocrystallites as a function of size has been studied. Ultraviolet-blue luminescence (39-410 nm) is observed from as-prepared silicon nanoclusters with diameters from 3 to 8 nm. After 1 h of annealing at 162°C in 2-methoxyethyl ether (diglyme), the λmax of PL shifts from 360 to 420 nm. High-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) images show that individual silicon nanoparticles are fused to form pairs of nanoparticles. FTIR spectra show that the alkyl groups remain on the surface of silicon nanoparticles. As the temperature is raised to 250°C for 1 h, the PL no longer shows any peak in the visible light region. TEM images show that the silicon nanoparticles are aggregated and fused uniformly in one single dimension, to form a strip, and these strips parallel each other. When the temperature is raised to 350°C these silicon nanoparticles form a large piece of silicon textile network, showing that functionalized alkyl surface does not persist above this temperature. A strong Si-O-Si asymmetric stretching vibration appears between 1000 and 1100cm-1 at the expense of the C-H vibrational modes and there is no more change after 3 h of annealing at 250 or 350°C. These results provide strong evidence that the PL originates from quantum confinement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)423-431
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Cluster Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2000


  • Nanoclusters
  • Photoluminescence
  • Silicon nanoparticles
  • TEM

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Inorganic Chemistry


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